To which world does Pascal Jacob belong? The world of the wise, or that of the mad? Or maybe he’s just a typical Virgo with that double identification so characteristic of his star sign, representing both worlds at once.
Historian, writer, stage designer, costume designer for both opera and the circus, talent scout for the circus, teacher, collector… Pascal Jacob has turned a childhood passion into a profession: a passion for the circus.
He shares this desire to turn his most fantastic dreams into reality with the people he has met along the way who, as he writes in “La souplesse du Dragon”, “invest an unreasonable amount of themselves in their fantasies, succeeding in turning them, through the power of dreams, into opulent reality”.
In his own way, Pascal Jacob is, at heart, also a street acrobat, a saltimbanco.
You must, at least once, enter this artists’ workshop nestled in an archway under the buildings, which serves as both arch and caravan, in order to experience the dizziness of travel and be touched by an angel’s wing: you can’t help but raise your eyes.
Stacked up in a manner reminiscent of a Prévert inventory, the wings of a Museum or a quayside where the suitcases for an imminent departure are piled on top of each other; hundreds of objects, gathered together through Pascal Jacob’s ever watchful meticulousness, are on display. Hiding and adding together, they recount, like rare childhood treasures, the wonderful saga of the circus.
However, only a tiny part of Pascal Jacob’s collection, which contains over 17,000 items, is assembled here; a significant portion is now housed by the Cité du Cirque in Montreal.
However, it forms a world in its own right, which lives and breathes from one object to the next as it is explored by the fascinated visitor: every canvas, every etching, every poster, every bronze, every piece of earthenware, every piece of costume is brimming with meaning and has its own story to tell; a story that Pascal Jacob recounts with breath-taking learnedness and a desire for shared communication.
The animal engravings of mice, the face of Popov sculpted in film, the remains of the posts which supported the first Barnum Circus canvas, preserved like religious relics, as well as many other things: nothing here could be described as dull or boring.
Sit yourself down under our big top and let yourself be carried away: all you have to do is watch and listen.
Above all else, Pascal Jacob is, at heart, a wonderful storyteller…
English subtitle coming soon …